The Pocket Pup That's a Descendent of Large Sled Dogs

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April 16, 2016 • 30,838 views

Story at-a-glance

  • The tiny, too-cute Pomeranian is actually a descendent of much larger sled dogs
  • Pomeranians are spirited little companions who aren’t intimidated by dogs several times their size
  • The Pomeranian has a dense double coat that is surprisingly easy to care for
  • If you’re considering adding a Pomeranian to your family, be sure to check your local shelters and rescue organizations for adoptable dogs

By Dr. Becker

The tiny, too-cute Pomeranian is actually a descendent of much larger sled dogs.

Pomeranians are spirited little companions who aren’t intimidated by dogs several times their size.

The Pomeranian has a dense double coat that is surprisingly easy to care for.

If you’re considering adding a Pomeranian to your family, be sure to check your local shelters and rescue organizations for adoptable dogs.

10 Fun Facts About Pomeranians

The tiny Pomeranian descended from large sled dogs, specifically the German Spitz

The adorable Pomeranian, also known as the Zwergspitz, Dwarf Spitz, or Loulou, is the smallest member of the Spitz family of dogs, which includes the Alaskan Malamute, Norwegian Elkhound, and Samoyed, among others.

The original Pomeranian was a much larger dog than today’s version, weighing up to 30 pounds and working as a sheep herder. In the late 1800s, Queen Victoria began breeding her Pomeranians down in size, which ultimately made the breed very popular in England.

The Pomeranian is named after the province of Pomerania in Central Europe, which is today part of northern Poland and eastern Germany.

The average Pomeranian weighs just 3 to 7 pounds

The Pomeranian is a true toy dog, weighing just 3 to 7 pounds, and standing 5 to 12 inches at the shoulder. Poms have a wedge-shaped head and erect ears, giving them a slightly fox-like appearance. They have dark eyes that are almond-shaped, and their noses are either dark or the same color as the coat.

Poms have a distinctive tail that fans out over the back. The coat comes in a wide variety of colors, including red, orange, white, cream, blue, brown, and black. Parti-color varieties are relatively rare.

The Pomeranian has a thick double coat that stands out from the body and includes an even thicker ruff around the neck and chest. The outer coat is long, straight, and rough; the undercoat is short, thick, and soft.

The Pomeranian is a furry, feisty, faithful companion

Poms are smart and very loyal to their human families. And while the cute factor here is off the charts, these little guys are known to be independent thinkers, bold, observant, and curious about their environment.

Like some other tiny breeds, when your Pom looks in a mirror, he sees a big dog looking back at him. As a result, it’s not uncommon for Poms to assert themselves with much larger dogs.

His feistiness and independence make the Pomeranian popular with people who really aren’t into small dogs.

Pomeranians are good watchdogs

Because your Pom is always alert and sensitive to any changes or noises in her environment, she’s a natural born watchdog. However, her tendency to bark (and surprisingly loudly) at new stimuli can become excessive, so you’ll need to discourage the behavior if it gets out of hand.

Pomeranians are naturally territorial, which also plays a role in their urge to bark at outside noises.

Pomeranians make great companions for older folks

Because they aren’t overly dependent on their humans, Poms often suit the lifestyle of older people and families with busy lives. (That’s not to say your Pomeranian will enjoy spending endless hours alone each day, as no dog does.)

If there are young children in the home, they need to learn gentle handling to safely interact with such a tiny dog. A well-socialized Pom will do fine living with other dogs and also cats.

Thanks to their small size, Poms do well living in apartments or homes without yards.

Poms are loaded with energy

Pomeranians have energy to burn and love going for walks. As extroverts, these little guys love to meet new people and explore the great outdoors.

Poms can learn tricks with consistent training, and more and more Pomeranians are showing up at obedience, agility, tracking, and flyball competitions.

Poms can also be excellent therapy dogs and hearing assistance dogs.

The Pomeranian is a generally healthy breed

Pomeranians live an average of 15 years. They are healthy dogs, but like other small breeds are predisposed to patellar luxation (floating kneecap) and tracheal collapse. They also tend to be prone to eye infections, skin irritations, and dental problems.

Very small female Poms often must deliver by cesarean section, and newborn Pomeranian puppies are exceptionally tiny and fragile.

The Pom coat is relatively easy to care for

While your Pomeranian’s long, double coat needs frequent brushing, the task is fairly easy to complete. Work from the head down, parting the coat and brushing it forward. This method will cause the hair will fall neatly into place.

Poms shed their undercoat once or twice a year, and their outer coat sheds year-round. Bathe your Pom and trim her nails as necessary.

You’ll also want to clean your dog’s eyes and check her ears each day, and brush her teeth to prevent dental problems.

Poms aren’t big winners at Westminster

Only 11 Best in Show titles have been awarded to dogs in the toy group, and just one of those winners was a Pomeranian.

Weighing in at just 4.5 pounds, Ch. Great Elms Prince Charming II was the smallest dog in the finals, and each time the little guy was gaited around the ring, the audience applauded wildly.

President Theodore Roosevelt had a Pomeranian he had to give away

President Roosevelt had a Pomeranian named Gem. In a letter to his son, Roosevelt told of having to give Gem away to a family member. According to Bartleby.com, Roosevelt wrote:

"Gem is really a very nice small bow-wow, but Mother found that in this case possession was less attractive than pursuit. When she takes him out walking he carries her along as if she was a Roman chariot. She thinks that Uncle Will or Eda can anchor him."

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